“I want to build a business that gives me the freedom to be able to be creative and have a life and enjoy my family as well and have a comfortable lifestyle.”
Part 3/4: Contracts And Clauses For The Wedding Industry! | Interview at the Legal Paige Podcast
The cost of weddings has been rising over the last few years., The COVID-19 pandemic, inflation, and the rising cost of living are three reasons why this is happening. As a wedding planner, you need to make sure that you protect your clients from any price changes and other unexpected costs. You also need to make sure that you include clauses in your contracts that protect you from things such as communication issues and payments with your client. Luckily, there are a few legal clauses that can put you ahead of the game and help you avoid problems when they happen.
I recently hopped into Paige Marie Griffith’s The Legal Paige podcast, where we shared insights on how to run a legally legit wedding plan business, how difficult it is at this time of inflation, and the most important clauses that can protect you from unexpected happenings during your contract with clients.
This is part 3 of the 4-part series for the month of August, where I share with you episodes from other great podcasts that can help you grow your wedding planning business. The Legal Paige podcast holds weekly episodes featuring legal, finance, and business tips for creatives and online businesses.
It was an honor sharing my thoughts on Paige’s podcast, from the most common sticky situations in the industry to tips on how to navigate destination weddings during inflation, and how to ensure you earn what you work for, even when the client cancels their wedding!
Typically for planners, most of us don’t have products but just services. However, if you’re paying yourself in your business (which you should be doing), your personal costs are likely growing fast! So, it’s a struggle to maintain the lifestyle you have if you don’t know your costs of doing business.
The most affected people are our partners who have been hit with the product costs. For instance, florists have been dealing with the cost issues for the entire pandemic even before inflation, with prices going even up to 5x higher.
During this period, it’s important to work with your vendors and understand what they’re going through and what their costs are going to look like. Then clearly present that information to your clients.
“That goes back to each individual’s contract. And as a planner, this is why we want to be paying very close attention to what our vendor contracts, say, on behalf of our clients and making sure that our clients understand that.”
The most important thing is to understand the vendor contracts and explain them to your clients as well.
For instance, most hotels have a clause that says, “Menu prices will be guaranteed six months before the event.” So ensure you confirm with the hotels whether the prices are guaranteed at the time of signature on the contract. Most of them will agree when you negotiate. And if not, let your client know about it so they can be ready when prices change.
“I would encourage you if you don’t have a rescheduling fee or a cancellation reschedule fee in your contract to go get that now and get it in your contract.“Shop all the contracts and clauses The Legal Paige has to offer! Click HERE!
With so many risks involved, the best thing is to protect your business against the risks by ensuring you add these clauses to your contract and let the client understand them before they sign:
Client payments should be described (in your contract) as a non-refundable retainer. Early into Blush, our wedding planning business, we were collecting 30% of our fee upfront and 70% after the wedding. We quickly realized this could be risky! If the client cancels, their wedding a few days before it happens, we will likely not get paid the 70%. We course corrected!!
Since then all Blush events have at least 3 non refundable installments due along the planning timeline. A detailed non refundable retainer, a 2nd payment , and a 3rd payment, collected a minimum of 10 days before the event. All contractually, non refundable upon receipt. So, whether the wedding is canceled or not, we get paid what we have worked for.
Another great conversation with Paige!! She is all about helping us creative entrepreneurs become legally legit!! Please remember to subscribe to her podcast for more episodes and resources.
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I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
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